A variety of chemicals are used at the University. Some of these are hazardous, posing a risk of injury or illness if not handled properly. There are two broad types of hazards associated with chemicals.

  1. Health effects - chemicals that have the potential to cause adverse health effects. Exposure can occur through inhalation, skin contact or ingestion. Health effects can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). Typical acute health effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting and skin damage while chronic health effects can include asthma, dermatitis, nerve damage or cancer.
  2. Physicochemical effects – physical and chemical properties that pose a risk to workers other than health hazards. For example, chemicals that are explosive, flammable or likely to react dangerously under particular conditions.

Chemical Safety Standard

The University has Chemical safety standards which describes minimum performance standards to ensure that University faculties, schools, research institutes and individual research groups apply a consistent approach to manage chemical risks associated with University activities. Compliance with performance standards is compulsory.

The Chemical Safety Standard gives effect to the Work Health & Safety Policy. Compliance with performance standards also assists the University to meet the specific requirements of the NSW Work Health & Safety Act and Regulation 2011.

Guidelines, infosheets and management tools are aimed at providing further information and support in meeting these legislative and safety requirements.

 Guidelines & infosheets
Supporting information
Chemical infosheets

Introduction to the GHS

Transition to the GHS

GHS poster

Cryogenic Liquids

Ethanol (tracking usage)

Chemical storage

Dangerous Goods depots

Dangerous Goods Classes

Incompatible chemicals

Hydrofluoric acid

Perchloric acid

Picric acid

Chemical labelling About ChemAlert Mercury (Spills)
Chemical spill    
Chemical procurement    
Chemical transport    
Chemical waste Chemical waste manifest  
Personal protective equipment    
Working with carcinogens Using a fume cupboard video  
Working with gases Using the gas risk calculator  
Working with scheduled poisons     

Need more information

Safety Health & Wellbeing acknowledges that the University carries out a broad range of activities and supports the application of a practical and risk-based approach to safety. If you are unsure how to comply with the chemical safety standards, please contact your WHS Adviser.